When the EF2 tornado ripped through downtown Muscatine on March 6, 2017, Wesley United Methodist Church sustained significant damage. The storm displaced a congregation and destroyed an iconic organ.
The sanctuary is also home to the Jackson Concert Series. The series was established by the trust of Muscatine Attorney Robert S. Jackson. Jackson specified that the trust income be utilized to support Wesley Church’s music program and provide a series of concerts to be free and open to the general public. The series has featured concerts from multiple award-winning artists such as Marvin Hamlisch and Bobby McFerrin as well as opera stars Jerry Hadley and Simon Estes to a capella groups Chanticleer and Chapter 6. Over 175 concerts have been performed as a part of the concert series.
The most recent installment of the Jackson Concert Series Presents will be Harper’s Delight. The group is an ensemble of harpists from eastern Iowa and western Illinois. The group features music from the classical repertoire as well as folk tunes, hymns, and original compositions and arrangements.
Muscatine resident and ensemble member Jane Seligman joined the group after learning the instrument. “I have always wanted to learn how to play it,” said Seligman, who is an accomplished hammered dulcimer player. “It is such a beautiful instrument, and playing with this group is just so much fun.”
Ric Smith, Director of Music Ministry at Wesley Church, is excited that this concert didn’t need to be postponed or canceled. “The storm has affected some of the concerts, but we are very thankful we can present this music at the Wesley Family Life Center.” The concert will be held on April 30, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are available and are free to the public.